NBA FINALS: LeBron’s Cavs Not Motivated By Underdog Status, Says Coach Lue
THE Cleveland Cavaliers will not be motivated by their underdog status when they take on the Golden State Warriors in the fourth instalment of their NBA Finals rivalry, coach Tyronn Lue said yesterday.
The Warriors have been installed by Las Vegas bookmakers as heavy favourites to retain their NBA crown as they face the Cavaliers for a fourth straight year starting in game one tomorrow.
The Warriors have won two of the three previous meetings, with the Cavaliers taking the 2016 crown after a miraculous fightback from 3-1 down.
Lue however says the fact the Warriors are most observers’ pick for the title will not motivate his team.
“Our focus is winning championships, playing our best basketball,” Lue said.
“Our main focus is to win a championship. We can’t worry about what outside guys are saying.
“I don’t think we need motivation. Any time you get to the finals you’re playing for a championship and that’s motivation in itself.
“We don’t have to thrive on that. Being in this position is enough.”
The Cavaliers reached the finals after a wild Eastern Conference series with the Boston Celtics, sealing victory in game seven on Sunday with an 87-79 win on the road.
The victory made Cleveland the first team to beat the Celtics at home during the postseason.
Lue said he believed the cornerstone of his team’s success was defence.
“I think we’ve grown,” he said. “We talk all season about getting better and better so that when we get to the playoffs we’re playing our best basketball.
“I think defensively we’ve really turned the corner. We’re been playing really physical, getting stops.”
Lue believes also that his team may benefit from playing a gruelling seven-game series against Boston, stating that the team would be battle-hardened heading into game one.
“I think our whole team has to be aggressive. We can’t use game one as a feel-out game. It’s the first time we’ve come off a seven-game series in the finals and had only two or three days in between,” Lue said. “Playing a game seven on Sunday in Boston will help us in game one.” CREDIT: AFP